Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Stereotyping – much easier than THINKING

09:53:00 Posted by Sheilagh Dyson , , , , , 2 comments

In a complex, bewildering world, it is so much easier to avoid really thinking about issues that cause us concern by applying a label, a hook, a short-hand that conveys the meaning instead. Unfortunately, this leads to stereotyping, which in turn can take hold in the collective psyche as established fact, when it is no such thing. The effort of questioning what we are told becomes unnecessary, superfluous, redundant as the stereotype shapes our opinions and takes the place of any rigour of thought - it’s all been done for us, to save us the bother!
Stereotyping leads to casual racism, writing off whole religions as terrorists, swallowing lies put out by ruthless political propaganda machines, turning on vulnerable, defenceless minorities, stigmatising sufferers of illnesses or conditions, lynchings. And all because of our inability to think beyond a narrow framework prescribed by those who wish to control us.
Here’s a little poem I found that illustrates the point, in its own pithy way.


Lemons must be zesty
smorgasbords veritable.

Soldiers must be brave and young.

Families are all hard working,
and immigrants scrounging.

The words Muslim and terrorist are filed too close in the western lexicons.

I bought a lemon today.
I sliced it in two.
It was dry,
full of pith.

By Adrian via

Thank you for reading,



Adele said...

Lovely Sheilagh. Great map and your thinking left a guilty taste in my mouth. Thank you.

Sheilagh Dyson said...

Thanks, Adele. I think we can all.own up to that one from time to time.